In the colourful tapestry of Australia’s gambling landscape, one aspect stands out prominently – the large presence of pokies, a local term for slot machines. These gaming machines, known for their flashing lights, enticing sounds, and potential to win money, have become an integral part of Australian culture and entertainment. In this comprehensive overview, we delve into the legality and evolution of pokies across Australia.

pokies Australia

Legality and Number of Pokies in Each State

The legal status of pokies varies from state to state in Australia, with each jurisdiction having its own regulations governing their operation, and restricting the total number of machines. Currently, pokies are legal in most parts of Australia, except Western Australia, where they are restricted to one land-based casino in Perth.

New South Wales leads the nation in terms of pokie machines, with over 90,000 units scattered across pubs, clubs, and casinos. Victoria follows closely behind, boasting a significant number of pokies in various gaming venues. Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania also have a substantial presence of these gaming machines, contributing to the vibrant gambling culture of the country.

We’ve prepared a table showcasing the number of pokie machines, venues, casinos, and the minimum RTP and maximum bets allowed in each Australian state. These numbers come from varying data sources and time points ranging from 2021-22 up to 2023. So while we’ve done our best to ensure accuracy, the actual total number may be slightly lower or higher.

StateTotal MachinesGaming VenuesCasinosMinimum RTPMaximum Bet
VIC29,600489185%/87% (Crown)Venues = $5 / Casino = Unlimited
QLD23,990359485%Venues = $5 / Casinos = No Limit
SA12,500472187.5%Venues = $5 / Casino = Unlimited
NT2,57065285%Venues = $5 / Casinos = No Limit
WA2,0001 (Crown)190%Unlimited
The number of pokie machines in each Australian state

Key Findings

  • Australia has close to 170,000 pokie machines, although this number could be as high as 185,000 factoring in growth and the most recent data.
  • Western Australia and South Australia have the highest RTP pokies in Australia, with minimum levels of 90% and 87.5% respectively.
  • NSW has the most pokies in Australia, with over 90,000 machines. The only state in the world with more machines is Nevada in the USA, which had 163,500+ machines in 2019.
  • ACT and NSW accept the highest minimum bets at local gaming venues, imposing a $10 per spin cap.
  • There are less than 15 casinos in Australia but close to 4,000 individual gaming venues such as local pubs, clubs, and sports bars with pokies.
  • The overall minimum average RTP for pokies at gaming venues across Australia is 86.4375%.

Who Regulates Pokies in Australia

  1. Northern Territory Racing Commission
  2. Australian Capital Territory Gambling and Racing Commission
  3. New South Wales Office for Liquor, Gaming and Racing
  4. Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation
  5. SA Independent Gambling Authority
  6. Tasmania Department of Treasury and Finance
  7. Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation
  8. Western Australia Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor

Evolution of Games and Key Providers

The evolution of pokie games in Australia has been marked by technological advancements, creative innovation, and fierce competition among game developers. Over the years, pokie machines have evolved from simple mechanical devices with a handful of symbols to sophisticated digital platforms offering immersive gaming experiences with interactive bonus rounds and high potential payouts.

Several prominent game provider companies have played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Australian pokies. Names like Aristocrat, Ainsworth, and IGT (International Game Technology) have become synonymous with quality and innovation in the industry. These companies have introduced iconic pokie titles that have captivated players with their engaging themes and unique in-game feature.

Aristocrat, in particular, stands out as a trailblazer in the pokie world, with a rich history spanning decades. The company’s advanced machines and legendary titles, such as “Queen of the Nile,” “Buffalo,” and “Big Red”, have achieved cult status among players, both in Australia and around the globe. Ainsworth is another leader, founded by industry veteran Len Ainsworth. It’s also made significant contributions to the pokies market, with a diverse portfolio of games and machines catering to a wide range of preferences.

Online Pokies: The Offshore Option

While land-based pokies dominate the gambling scene in Australia, the rise of online casinos has introduced a new dimension to the gaming landscape. Players now have the option to enjoy their favourite pokie games from the comfort of their homes, thanks to a variety of global offshore licensed sites. These online platforms offer a wide selection of pokies, often featuring cutting-edge graphics, immersive game play, and lucrative bonuses.

Despite the legality of online gambling being a grey area in Australia, many players find solace in accessing reputable offshore casinos licensed and regulated in other jurisdictions. While the local regulatory framework prohibits the operation of online casinos within Australia, players are free to choose if they wish to play at international online casino sites licensed in other regions such as Curacao, Panama, or Costa Rica.

Popular software providers such as Betsoft, Yggdrasil, Mascot, Booongo, and BGaming, have brought fresh ideas and innovative online pokies to the gambling world. These companies continue to push the boundaries of creativity, delivering immersive gaming experiences for modern players.

pokie games


As we reflect on the state of pokies in Australia, it becomes clear that these iconic gaming machines occupy a central place in the nation’s gambling culture. From bustling casinos to cozy pubs, pokies provide entertainment and excitement to millions of Australians, offering a chance to test their luck and win big.

While the legal landscape and regulatory framework surrounding pokies may evolve over time, one thing remains constant – the enduring popularity of these gaming machines. Whether spinning the reels at a local venue or exploring the vast virtual world of online casinos, Australians continue to embrace the thrill of pokies.

Responsible Gambling:

National Gambling Helpline – 1800 858 858

Gambling Help Online



IBIS World


Responsible Gambling: At we are not responsible for loses related to gambling. It’s up to individual players to determine how much they are willing to play or if they want to play for free. We recommend to always follow responsible gambling guidelines and have fun by remaining in control. For help with gambling visit Disclaimer: This website is intended for entertainment purposes. Because sites update frequently we are not responsible for outdated information related to bonuses, promotions or restrictions for casinos. We recommend checking the casino terms & conditions to make sure.